Got A GM Car With OnStar? It Might Be Spying On You….

I was flipping through the Saturday paper and I came across this story that made me uncomfortable. Apparently if you have a GM car with OnStar, it might be spying on you even if you don’t subscribe to OnStar:

OnStar, known for connecting drivers to live operators who can provide directions or summon emergency help after an accident, starting in December plans to collect data from people who discontinue the service unless they specifically ask for the connection to be severed.

Among the details that would still be collected are speed, location and other data from global positioning system satellites, raising potential concerns from privacy advocates.

It gets even worse:

The data collected may be shared with or sold to third parties for any purpose after identifying tags are removed, the OnStar policy states. Such uses might include research into public safety or traffic services, according to the policy.

Sorry, that’s a #fail in my books. The folks at OnStar had something to say about that:

“We have never sold any personally identifiable information to any third party,” Joanne Finnorn, vice president for subscriber services at OnStar, said in a statement.

Sorry, that’s a #fail too. The fact that you haven’t sold personally identifiable info really doesn’t make me feel any better about this. The fact is that unless I opt out, you could be collecting all sorts of info that I perhaps don’t want in the hands of a third party. Even before this popped up on my radar screen, I personally have had zero interest in paying for OnStar if I owned a GM vehicle. Quite honestly, I didn’t see the value in it to justify the price they want me to pay to have it. The thought that they may be collecting data even after I stop subscribing to the service (as all GM vehicles come with some sort of free trial period) really does nothing to make me want to buy a GM vehicle. It also makes me want to rethink the positive review I gave the Chevy Cruze.

I’ll say this to GM. If you want consumers to trust you, then you need to do a better job of protecting personal information. What’s described in this article doesn’t come close to doing so. Until you start do so, you’re not on my car buying list, not to mention the lists of others out there.

2 Responses to “Got A GM Car With OnStar? It Might Be Spying On You….”

  1. This doesn’t surprise me Governments, and Business are colluding to eliminate any semblance of personal privacy for the voting Public. We are all considered criminals by these groups.Instead of concentrating on the criminal element , they have turned their attention big time to the law abiding citizen.,who may inadvertently run afoul of the law.. I’m currently considering purchasing a new vehicle, but it certainly won’t be a GM or Chevrolet product.

  2. […] the target of this was not an OnStar subscriber, but the hardware was still live. Something that I wrote about in part a few years ago. For the record, here’s GM’s stance on […]

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